Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Bag made of vegetable fibre, cord. Coiled bag

  • Ethnic name

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 49 centimetres
    • Width: 43 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Label attached to bag, probably in Davis' hand, reads: "Basket. Made by the Aborigines of South Australia. Encounter Bay Tribe. Brought by Jane Moorhouse"

    Jane Moorhouse was the wife of Mathew Moorhouse (1813-1876) doctor, and the first permanent Protector of Aborigines in South Australia, who published a vocabulary of the Murrary River Aborigines in 1846. He had many dealings with Aboriginal people of the Lower Murray and Lakes, including those of the 'Encounter Bay Tribe'.

    Another label attached to the bag reads: "+467.0 Dr JB Davis. Tasmania." The attribution of Tasmania is incorrect. The reverse of this label reads "AWF 4 Nov 1889". This label indicates that Franks presented the bag to the British Museum on this date.


  • Bibliography

    • Bolton 2011 p.56 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2011 26 May-11 Sep, London, BM, G91, Baskets and Belonging: Indigenous Australian Histories

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 May 2011

    Reason for treatment

    Temporary Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Light clean. re-shape? Make padded insert? Check breaks in cane.


    Slightly dusty. Some minor damge to basket, eg. at rim. Kotted net handle particularly dry and brittle with many sections broken and / or missing.

    Treatment details

    Cleaned by brushing gently by vacuuming whilst brushing with a soft sable brush. Cleaned with Chemsponge/smoke sponge (vulcanized rubber molecular trap, containing a minuscule percentage of mild soap i.e. <30grm per 500kg) by gently rubbing over surface.

    Humidified in cabinet gradually raising humidity to 90%RH over 2 days. Gradually padded out with crumpled nylon net withing smooth Bondina (non woven polyester) fabric to prvent catching on inside of basket.

    Soft padded insert tailoured to fit inside basket made of smooth undyed silk habutai fabric stitched with cotton thread, inserted into basket and then gradually filled with small pieces of polyester wadding. Stuffed to made partly rounded and 3 dimensional to enable display on a flat board whilst still giving it some shape.

    Knotted net handle repaired where broken and / or missing using dark brown button cotton thread and loosely folding and twisting the two threads thus formed together to give an idea of original. Ends secured by knotting and loose ends of button cotton adhered to itself using small spots of HMG Paraloid B72 (methyl ethyl methacrlylate) from the tube. Samll tabs of mulberry paper coloured with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic) diluted in water were used to hold broken section of cord in position against the replacement twisted button cotton sections and secured with the same adhesive.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Presented to the British Museum by A.W. Franks Esq. on 4 November 1889.

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Oc1889C2.4670 (old CDMS no.)


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Object reference number: EOC6973

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